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Fresh tomato soup

August 6, 2008

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Serves 6

Bruised tomatoes, sometimes called "canners" or "seconds" or "grade B," are perfect for this simple soup. Use a variety - heirlooms, plums, and cherries are fine, too. Simmer the cut-up tomatoes with lots of fresh herbs and a little chicken stock. After half an hour, the tomatoes will collapse, while the skins and seeds give the mixture body. Work the soup through a food mill or coarse strainer. I make this soup in great quantity all through August and freeze it in quart containers for a dreary day later in the year. Add a spoonful of yogurt and fresh herbs to each bowl or sip the soup from tea cups.

12large tomatoes, cored
2cups chicken stock
1cup fresh basil leaves
1/2cup fresh mint leaves
Salt and pepper, to taste

1. Cut up the tomatoes. If they're bruised, cut off and discard any soft spots.

2. In a soup pot, combine the tomatoes, chicken stock, basil, mint, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer the mixture for 30 minutes or until the tomatoes have collapsed completely.

3. Set a food mill or coarse strainer over a bowl and work the soup through the mill. Return the soup to the pot. Bring to a boil, taste for seasoning, and add more salt and pepper, if you like. Sheryl Julian